Curriculum and Degrees

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Foundational Course Descriptions

The following curriculum is prescribed by the American Bar Association, and all students will complete each of the following classes in their first two years. Full-time students will take Property, International Law and Legal Writing III in their second year; all other courses should be taken in the first year. Part-time students will take Civil Procedure, Contracts, Legal Research and Writing, and two of the one semester classes in their first year of law school. Part-time students will complete the remaining courses in their second year. 

Civil Procedure (2 semesters)
Studies each stage of the civil lawsuit, including pleadings, motions, discovery, trial, post-trial motions, appeals, and the finality of judgments; also examines alternatives to litigation.

Contracts (2 semesters)
Focuses on the common law of contracts: formation, performance, and breach of contractual obligations; remedies for breach of contract; and the effect of contract on the legal status of non-parties.

International Law (1 semester)
Provides a foundation for what an American lawyer should know about international law and cultural differences in an era of rapid globalization. It introduces the international legal system's nature, major principles, and institutions, the relationship between international and domestic law, and the role of law in promoting world public order.

Criminal Law (1 semester)
Examines the functions of criminal law as a means of social control, the creation of crimes as a process, and the elements of criminal liability – the criminal act, the criminal state of mind, and the absence of justification or excuse.

Torts (1 semester)
Introduces the development of common law, focusing on civil actions for injury to persons, property, or intangible interests, and on claims of intentional wrongs, negligence, and strict liability.

Practice, Problem-Solving and Professionalism (1 semester)
Fosters an understanding of the lawyer's role as a problem solving professional and provide an overview of the range of dispute resolution processes lawyers use to resolve client problems, such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Property 1 (1 semester)
Studies the concepts of real and personal property in our legal system. Real property is emphasized, with the primary focus on estates in land from historical and modern perspectives.

Constitutional Law (1 semester)
Introduces constitutional interpretation, including doctrines and competing philosophies, and the framework of state and federal government under the Constitution.

Legal Research and Writing I
Teaches legal analysis, the synthesis of legal authorities, and the writing of objective legal memoranda and introduces legal research concepts, legal citation, and transactional drafting.

Legal Research and Writing II
Teaches written and oral client communications, trial-level persuasive memoranda, and the drafting of documents for related transactions.

Legal Research and Writing III
Students choose between two curricula: one focused primarily on litigation-oriented writing; one focused primarily on transaction-focused drafting. Both options will continue education in legal research through weekly hands-on exercises and introduce legislative history and administrative law research.

Please visit the Legal Research and Writing program for additional information.

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